Sunglasses Very, very necessary for the morning after you’ve reached the summit, when the early morning light on Kibo can be painful and damaging.
Money For tipping, souvenirs, stamps, postcards, and for meals when not on the mountain or on safari (other than breakfast, which is included n your accommodation)
Toothbrush and toothpaste Ensure your dental checks are up-to-date; if there is one thing more painful than climbing to the summit of Kili, it’s climbing to the summit of Kili with toothache.
Toilet paper Tampons/sanitary towels Handwash
Diamox For more information on this wonder drug please visit the Diamox page on the book’s website; and visit this page for more information on how Diamox works
Highly desirable stuff for Kilimanjaro
Smartphone Some people may consider this to be unnecessary, others will consider their phone to be vital. Your average smartphone and the apps you’ve loaded onto it can certainly perform many roles: torch, MP3 player/ipod, camera, GPS, step counter, compass, etc etc etc. Your itinerary will tell you what mobile reception is like on your route. Remember to bring your charger – you won’t be able to charge your phone on Kili, but can in the hotel before you set off.
Battery pack for your smartphone Very essential, if you don’t want to run out of power after a day or two
Trekking poles If you’ve done some trekking before you’ll know if you need poles or not; if you haven’t, assume you will. While people often use them the whole way, poles really come into their own on the descent, to minimize the strain on your knees as you trudge downhill. Telescopic poles can be brought from trekking/camping outfitters in the West, or you can invest in a more local version – a Maasai ‘walking stick’ – from souvenir shops in Moshi or Arusha.
Boiled sweets/chocolate For winning friends, influencing people and maintaining morale.
Bandanna (aka ‘buff’) For keeping the dust out of your face when walking on the Saddle, to use as an ear-warmer on the final night, and to mop the sweat from your brow on those exhausting uphill climbs. Also useful for blocking out the odours when using the public toilets at the campsites.
Chapstick/ lip salve or vaseline The wind on the summit will rip your sunburnt lips to shreds. Save yourself the agony by investing in chapstick, available from pharmacists and supermarkets in Arusha/Moshi.
Camera and equipment
Useful stuff for Kilimanjaro
Earplugs A set of earplugs will reduce this disturbance at night.
Gaiters Useful on the dusty Saddle. Indeed, more than one trekker has written in to say that gaiters are essential. However, we’ve also met trekkers who can’t see the point of them – it’s a matter of preference.
Moist toilet tissues (Wet-wipes). Use several at the end of the day and it’s the closest thing to a shower on the mountain.
Sandals/flip-flops Useful in the evenings at camp. Make sure they’re big enough to fit round thick socks.
Sewing kit For repairs on the trail.
Insulating tape Also for repairs – of shoes, rucksacks, tents etc, and as a last resort for mending holes in clothes if you have forgotten your sewing kit.
Watch Preferably cheap and luminous for night-time walking